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From The Sherriff, Ken J. Mascara - As We Enter The Holiday Season…


Can you feel it? The slight change in the air. The reduced humidity. Fall is here on the Treasure Coast and it sure is a welcomed sight from such a hot summer.


Fall is a time to be thankful as we enter the holiday season, and we have much to be thankful for here in St. Lucie County. From the decreasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, to the sparing of our coastline from hurricanes so far this season, to the continued outpouring of support our heroes in law enforcement witness each and every day, thankfulness doesn’t begin to describe it. These events and others humble us and keep us steadfast in doing our job to keep you safe, each and every day.


I can’t let this opportunity pass without reminding you of some very important tips to stay safe and prevent you from becoming a victim of crime. Please, remember to lock it or lose it. If you leave your car unlocked, even in your home driveway, it becomes an instant target for thieves looking to loot and steal. Under the cover of darkness, they scan neighborhoods, silently checking for unlocked cars. When they find one, they are in and out in seconds, taking your valuables with them. Take that extra second and remember to lock your car door, at home, at work and everywhere in between.


While out shopping this upcoming holiday season, shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member. Dress casually and comfortably. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry. Always carry your Florida Driver’s License or Identification Card along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use. Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible. Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas or parking lots. Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps. Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, “con-artists” may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.


Important reminders if you plan to shop with kids this season, if possible, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter. Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you. Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping. Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom. Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in the car. Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security and to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.


Finally, as our friends from the north re-join us for the winter months, please remember to be mindful of traffic conditions and avoid driving aggressively. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination and remember that kindness is always appreciated, especially on the roadways.


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